Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Multiply your gifts within me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus feeding the crowds.)

This is the first of two multiplications of food in Mark’s gospel (one for a Jewish crowd and the other for Gentiles). This miracle is told in all four gospels (therefore, very important) and told six times altogether. It is so central because it prefigures Jesus’ gift of Eucharist. Epiphany means manifestation and these gospels are Jesus’ manifesting himself.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus spoke to the crowds of the Reign of God and he healed all who were in need of healing. As the day came to an end, the twelve said to Jesus, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the neighboring villages and buy some food, because here, we are in a deserted place.
But Jesus said to them, “You give them to eat”. They said, “We have only five barley loaves and two fishes, unless we go and buy food for the crowd.” There were about five thousand men. Jesus told his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” So, they made them all sit down.
Taking the five loaves and two fishes, he looked up to heaven and blessed them. He broke and distributed to his disciples to give to the crowd. They all ate and were filled. They gathered up twelve baskets of fragments that were left over.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. Jesus does two things. He preaches and he heals.
2. The crowd responds. They pass the whole day with Jesus, heedless of even their need to eat.
3. Jesus will provide a great abundance, supernaturally.
4. The disciples’ thinking lacks faith. They want to solve the problem in a natural way
5. Jesus blessing and breaking the bread will happen again at the Last Supper. This miracle previews the Eucharist.
6. Jesus brings all to completion. The people have their fill and twelve baskets are left over for us.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Jesus, speak to me about the reign of God.
2. O Lord, I will stay with you during the whole day of my life.
3. O Jesus, your plans for me are supernatural, beyond my greatest dreams.
4. Every day, you multiply the bread from heaven. Help me to love the Eucharist.
5. Complete your work in me. Bring all to an abundance.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. Today, I will seek out Jesus’ teachings.
2. I will seek Holy Communion every day.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
The disciples said, “Send them away.” Jesus said, “How many loaves do you have?”
He blessed them, broke them and gave them to the disciples to distribute.